A Non-Governmental Organisation, De Light of Christ Rescue Home, has expressed readiness to provide financial assistance to no fewer than 10,000 out-of-school children so as to return to classes.
The foundation also revealed plans to build a facility that would provide free education at the nursery, primary and secondary levels.
The founder, Mrs Ebunoluwa Ajibare, made this known on Sunday, during the official launching of the De Light of Christ Rescue Home and her 40th birthday celebration held in Lagos State.
Ajibare stressed that the surge in out-of-school children is a global threat that needed to be tackled by non-governmental organisations.
She explained that De Light of Christ Rescue Home would provide fully funded scholarships covering the three major levels of education to the less privileged.
She added that the foundation would also provide accommodation and distribute food items to the less privileged across the country.
She said, “The inspiration for the Foundation came in the year 2015 on a Monday morning when I was going about my usual morning evangelism. One would expect that children will be in school on a Monday morning during a school session but noticed the reverse was the case. A lot of children were roaming the streets of the Igando area of Lagos State where I lived then. I got inquisitive and was interested to know why they weren’t in school. To my surprise, got to realise that majority of the children had been sent out of school for over a year because their parents could not pay their school fees. The urge to right this wrong immediately arose in me and I was inspired to do something about it.
“During school hours, many underage children, who are supposed to be in school are seen in traffic hawking different products-from sachet water, to soft drinks, while some are thrown into an apprenticeship at a very tender age, According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO (2022), Nigeria has about 20.2 million out-of-school children. For context, about 244 million children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 are out of school worldwide. This implies Nigeria accounts for almost 10% of the global out-of-school children. This is a huge gap that needs the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians to fill-hence the establishment of this foundation.
“Primarily, the foundation will focus on three key developmental aspects of a child which are quality education, provision of shelter, feeding, and showing family love.
“The foundation has a plan to build a facility for nursery, primary and secondary levels of education. The plan to make this happen is already in place as we have already acquired an expanse of land solely for this purpose; this school, when completed will be 100 per cent tuition free.
“The foundation is established to combat the pervasive decadence in the upbringing of young children in society. Children are the future of any society, and the strength of our community depends on how we train our children.”